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 Post subject: Getting Started!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:17 am
Posts: 17
Hello Everyone!

Arc flash study how been thrown down on me after we've gotten 1mil+ Arc Flash study price tag from outside firms. The bad part is, I do not have any experience! For the past three weeks I have been researching Arc Flash to figure out how the heck to meet compliance requirements and I was hoping to get some expert opinion from you guys.

The study will be conducted at a fully integrated steel mill. Just like in many other manufacturing facilities, I will be facing several issues:
Old / unreadable prints
Not updated prints
NO prints!

On top of Arc Flash, it has been decided to do a full coordination and short circuit studies. I do understand it needs to be done as the same data will be used for Arc Flash.

I have specked out the software to be SKM Power*Tools.

Some of my questions are:
1. How the heck do I get started?

I formatted a project plan that outlines: project meeting, data collection, development of single-line drawings, performing calculations, system modeling, PPE requirements, Arc Flash labels, then the final report and training employees.

2. IEEE 1584 is not part of OSHA requirements. Why then is everyone following the 240V 125kVA transformer rule as a "stop"?

3. NFPA 70E talks about Energized and exposed equipment. If all live equipment is enclosed (metal-clad switchgear) and locked do we still have to follow approach boundaries?

4. There isn't very much about DC and arc flash in NFPA. Should I include it in my study?

5. What should be included in arc flash documentation? I will be conducting coordination and short circuit studies on top of Arc Flash. I understand there is not specific standard and software print outs will do just fine.

6. I have selected SKM Power*Tools for the software. Was it a good choice, or is ETap better?

I appreciate any input you may have!

Hope to contribute to the board myself!

Jack


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:57 am 
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Jnox wrote:
Hello Everyone!


Welcome to the forum

Jnox wrote:
Arc flash study how been thrown down on me after we've gotten 1mil+ Arc Flash study price tag from outside firms. The bad part is, I do not have any experience! For the past three weeks I have been researching Arc Flash to figure out how the heck to meet compliance requirements and I was hoping to get some expert opinion from you guys.


As you have figured out you have a huge task ahead of you, they get several $1M quotes and decided to give it to someone without experience? Yep, you are in a steel mill alright :)

Jnox wrote:
1. How the heck do I get started?


Get some training yourself, SKM has some good classes.

Jnox wrote:
I formatted a project plan that outlines: project meeting, data collection, development of single-line drawings, performing calculations, system modeling, PPE requirements, Arc Flash labels, then the final report and training employees.


There are some good seminars on this at the upcoming Powertest conference in San Antonio (March), you may want to attend.

Jnox wrote:
2. IEEE 1584 is not part of OSHA requirements. Why then is everyone following the 240V 125kVA transformer rule as a "stop"?

Because you need to stop somewhere in the real world, the IEEE reference is as good a point as any.

Jnox wrote:
3. NFPA 70E talks about Energized and exposed equipment. If all live equipment is enclosed (metal-clad switchgear) and locked do we still have to follow approach boundaries?


Yes, see the definition of arc flash hazard in the 2009 70E

Jnox wrote:
4. There isn't very much about DC and arc flash in NFPA. Should I include it in my study?


Good question, and one that pertains to steel mills more than other places. As of now you use the AC equations for the arc flash analysys. SKM has a DC module for the S/C part but as of now there are not equations for DC arc flash, IEEE/NFPA has a group working on this right now, our host is involved in it (I think) and may be able to help you more here.

Jnox wrote:
5. What should be included in arc flash documentation? I will be conducting coordination and short circuit studies on top of Arc Flash. I understand there is not specific standard and software print outs will do just fine.


The SKM reports will suffice but you will also need one lines updated, keep in mind you will need to update the study as plant conditions change.

Jnox wrote:
6. I have selected SKM Power*Tools for the software. Was it a good choice, or is ETap better?


I think SKM is the best, but Etap is Ok too, SKM seems to have the best support available.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Location: Rutland, VT
Hello,

Welcome to the forum.

You will find that the data collection will be the hardest and most time consuming portion of the study since your documentation is lacking.

Since you have done some preliminary investigation into arc flash hazards, you may want to re-consider the use of a consultant. Have you priced the software yet? It can be costly if it is only going to be used once. You may also want to look at EasyPower for software, it is another popular one.

One way I have found to help keep costs down for a client is to have the client perform all the data collection. I imagine your quotes were including data collection??

What is your time frame to complete the study in? The reason I ask is that it will take you awhile to get comfortable with the software and as you likely have many other tasks to do, how much time can you dedicate solely to this project?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:25 pm 
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wbd wrote:
One way I have found to help keep costs down for a client is to have the client perform all the data collection. I imagine your quotes were including data collection??



that is a very good point, that can all be done in house and reduce the cost by about half, maybe more.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:24 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:17 am
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wbd wrote:
Hello,

Welcome to the forum.

You will find that the data collection will be the hardest and most time consuming portion of the study since your documentation is lacking.

Since you have done some preliminary investigation into arc flash hazards, you may want to re-consider the use of a consultant. Have you priced the software yet? It can be costly if it is only going to be used once. You may also want to look at EasyPower for software, it is another popular one.

One way I have found to help keep costs down for a client is to have the client perform all the data collection. I imagine your quotes were including data collection??

What is your time frame to complete the study in? The reason I ask is that it will take you awhile to get comfortable with the software and as you likely have many other tasks to do, how much time can you dedicate solely to this project?



Zog and wbd,

Thank you for your quick replies. I do have a short circuit/coordination study that was done a little over 10 years ago. It consists of about 7, 2 inch binders. It has both most of the data I will need included.

Do you guys believe it is safe to rely on that data? Of course, things have changed over the years, and the data from 10 years ago will have to be verified during data collection. My plan was to conduct the studies based on what was done in the past, and make an arc flash addition to it.

Do you guys know if there is a good arc flash Q/A website concerning safety, rules and regulations, or is this something I need to research myself? These forums already provided a bunch of answers to my questions.

I am looking at training sessions for SKM Power Tools. Any idea if their support is knowledgeable in conducting studies, or just the operation of the software? I would imagine, both would go together. I have already put the software and Printer on order.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:43 pm 
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I would use the existing study as a starting point. You could use it out in the field to verify the equipment data. That way you wouldn't have to write all the data down that is valid, just check it off and then anything different in the field would have to be collected.

Depending on how it is organized, you may be able to have an electrician that has been there for awhile sit down with the books and mark up what has changed.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:58 pm 
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Zog wrote:
As of now you use the AC equations for the arc flash analysys. SKM has a DC module for the S/C part but as of now there are not equations for DC arc flash, IEEE/NFPA has a group working on this right now, our host is involved in it (I think) and may be able to help you more here.


Zog is correct. Just finished a meeting with the IEEE 1584 committee today. One of the members was part of the DC testing effort and said DC testing is done and the data has been sent on to the IEEE / NFPA collaborative team. The data has not been released from the lab / testing to us yet. Once all of the testing is completed (I am hearing about a year from now) then we (IEEE 1584) will begin work on revising the 1584 document. As I know more and can make it public, I will post it here.

Jack,

While you are trying to get your arms around all of this (reminds me that you eat an elephant one bite at a time) here are a few articles that might help get you pointed in the right direction. Keep checking back at the forum with question. There is quite a collection of really good people here willing to help out. Most of us at one time had the same questions and also began at the beginning.

[url="http://www.brainfiller.com/documents/ArcFlashJimPhillipsPart1.pdf"]Part 1[/url]
[url="http://www.brainfiller.com/documents/ArcFlashJimPhillipsPart2.pdf"]Part 2[/url]
[url="http://www.brainfiller.com/documents/ArcFlashJimPhillipsPart3.pdf"]Part 3[/url]

[url="http://shop.brainfiller.com/product.sc;jsessionid=E04058FBF36362FFBCEF95CF8C6B9EDE.qscstrfrnt04?categoryId=15&productId=48"]DVD-Arc Flash Studies[/url]

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:17 am
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Jim and wbd,

We have a probably hundreds of DC cranes ranging from 0.5 ton to 500+tons. I guess DC systems will have to wait until things get finalized. The magnitude and risks associated with this project at our plant, will either make me or brake me. Time to start digging in.

Jim, that article is exactly what I was looking for!!! Thank you both for your help!

Jack


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Jnox,

Sounds like we will be hearing from you quite often :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:33 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:17 am
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Once I figure things out, hope to help out myself!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Zog wrote:
I think SKM is the best, but Etap is Ok too, SKM seems to have the best support available.


That might be subjective; I believe ETAP has greater number of staff available for support. I have never had a problem with ETAP support.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:58 am 
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Gary B wrote:
That might be subjective; I believe ETAP has greater number of staff available for support. I have never had a problem with ETAP support.


Could be, I have not used ETAP in a few years so maybe it is different now, I didnt ever have a "problem" with them, just had very good support from SKM. I talk with hundereds of people that do arc flash studies at conferences and it seems more of them prefer SKM, but I think they are both solid programs with good support.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:15 am 
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Start the data collection using "FlashTrack" for the data collection. It is easy to use and a qualified worker can quickly collect all the data needed for the engineer it do the analysis using (in our case) SKM.

Note: FlashTrack is not for doing calculations, it was designed for the qualified worker to capture the data needed to model the system.
[ATTACH=full]300[/ATTACH]


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